12 Miles West

All about Theatres

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Are Advocates Beneficial in the Theater?

Newtons third law of motion states “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”.

This rule of thumb can be applied to almost any area of our life. When it comes to the theater, the third law can mean disastrous reviews and outcomes. A reaction from the audience is always welcome, unless it is a negative whiplash from a scene, line or portrayal in the performance. Unlike the earlier Theater days in Rome where anything could happen, we live in a time that is focused on equality. Diversity is the quilt of our world covering a dynamic array of individuals, races and lifestyles. When a presentation involves a depiction of any topic that could be misunderstood or misrepresented, it is wise to bring on an Advocate to help with the scene.

The Benefits of Including an Advocate During Rehearsals

Advocates Can Answer Questions – Unless a director or performer is directly linked to the topic, it may be hard to step into the role with a full understanding. The Advocate will be able to answer the harder questions that are deemed as politically incorrect to ask. Their goal is to offer insight to the Cast and Crew, not to condemn them.

Rehearsal Observations by an Advocate – The Advocate will be well versed in the laws, the opinions of the public and the groups they represent. They are able to observe the Rehearsals with sophisticated ears and eyes. They will pick up on any offenses that could evolve into potential problems for the production.

Advocates Consult the Script – The first place to look for hazardous statements is in the script. There are ways to rewrite a word to lighten the heaviness of the meaning. Inevitably, it is the smaller things that often get overlooked. Advocates are there to catch them before they become an issue.

The Accuracy of an Advocate – It is positive reinforcement to know a specific character or scenario is being properly portrayed. Not only does it make a more authentic piece, the effort will likely elevate the quality of the role. Details that come together accurately create an entire image for the audience.

Advocates and Tough Topics – If a play has specific scenes or connotations throughout the play, an Advocate is able to navigate an approach to sensitive subjects. It is one thing to have realism for effect while it is another to offend three quarters of the audience.

Advocates are helpful to have present before and during Rehearsals. It is important to remember they are not legal counsel. If you are concerned over legalities it would be best to consult an attorney. If your Advocate is also a lawyer, set up terms to protect yourself and your production. Another aspect to keep in mind about Advocates is an understanding of the roles. They do not serve as a creative component of the presentation. They will advise of action to avoid adverse reactions. The process is up to the Director, Producer and staff on the stage.